2018 General Rules

Florida Society of News Editors

2018 Journalism Competition

(For work published in 2017)

Entries this year will be submitted using the same online contest platform as last year: https://florida.awardsplatform.com/


  • Contest opens: Tuesday, Jan. 23, 2018
  • Deadline for all entries (including Paul Hansell): Tuesday, March 13, 2018 March 20, 2018
  • Except for page design categories, work may come from presentations in print or online. If online work is behind a paywall or meter, provide a username and password for the judges (in the “extra” window of the URL submission page).
  • Circulation divisions are based on Sunday print circulation: Division A, more than 125,000; Division B, 50,000 to 125,000; Division C, under 50,000. Other categories include Spanish Language Publications and Student Journalism.
  • The General Contest and Spanish-language Contest are open to FSNE member news organizations that have paid their dues for 2018. The Student Contest is open to all Florida student-led news media and individuals enrolled as full-time students whose work appeared in student-led news media.
  • Freelance/independent cartoonist work should be entered by a member organization.
  • Material submitted must have appeared in a daily newspaper in Florida, a Spanish-language paper (daily or weekly) in Florida, or a daily Florida news organization’s website during the previous calendar year and must have been the work of staff members of the newspaper or Florida-based staff members of a news organization.
  • Work by more than two staff members will be treated as a “staff” entry for the purposes of identification on awards. Only one plaque or certificate will be given to each winner in a category. (For winners, additional plaques or certificates can be ordered at cost.) Editors must list all participating staff members to assist contest officials in notifying winners.
  • The entry fee is $30 per entry ($20 for student publications)


The FSNE Gold Medal for Public Service is awarded for work of meritorious public service by a newspaper through distinguished reporting, writing and presentation. The medals will be awarded in each of three circulation classes from among the First Place winners in the four top categories: Breaking News, Features and Enterprise Writing, Investigative and Community Leadership. All the judges participate in selecting the Gold Medal winners. Each entry in those four categories must include a 1-page letter noting the public impact of the reporting. Attach the letter as a pdf. The contest chairs shall report the three winners to the FSNE president. The names of the winners shall be kept confidential until they are announced at the conclusion of the Awards Ceremony. News organizations do not enter in this category separately.


The three Spanish-language categories will be judged in a single division. In addition, Spanish-language publications may enter categories for photography (Categories 13-16) and design (Categories 10-12), and all will be judged in Division C (daily newspapers under 50,000 circulation).


The Paul Hansell Award for Distinguished Achievement in Florida Journalism is open to all individuals who write for a Florida newspaper. The winner receives $1,000. The late Paul Hansell was a long-time Associated Press bureau chief in Florida and a former member of FSNE.

New! The deadline to submit entries coincides with the regular contest deadline this year, Tuesday, March 20, 2018

The rules for the Paul Hansell Award are:

  • The award is for overall excellence in reporting and writing, either news or editorials, by an individual writing for a Florida newspaper. Judges will pay particular attention to the sum of a writer’s work, its range and diversity.
  • For purposes of judging, each entry is limited to 10 articles. However, entries may include additional back-up materials to give judges an overview of the scope of the writer’s work.
  • If the entry includes links to the paper’s website, they must be free of paywall restrictions or instructions must be included on how to bypass the paywall.
  • The material submitted must have been published in a Florida newspaper during the 12 months ending Dec. 31, 2017. If the work has extended over a longer period, it must have included significant development during the last 12 months.
  • The entry fee is $50, payable to FSNE.



  1. On the contest site: https://florida.awardsplatform.com/ register by entering your first and last names, email address and a password that you create.
  2. If you are already registered, log-in using your email and password.
  3. On the left menu bar click “Entries” then “Manage entries”
  4. At the top of the page click the button “Start Entry”
  5. Under “Contest” select “Florida Society of News Editors Journalism Contest”
  6. Under “Category” select your category. Category rules will appear on the page when the category is selected.
  7. Under “Entry name” type in a title for your entry
  8. Under “Publication name” type in the publication for which you are submitting the entry
  9. Click “Save + next”
  10. This will take you to the next tab “Staff credits” where you can enter contributors by clicking the “Add contributor” button. You can click it multiple times to add multiple people.
  11. Click “Save + next”
  12. This will take you to the “Attachments” tab where you can upload attachments and/or submit a URL
  13. When you are done with the entry click “Save + close” at the bottom
  14. When you are done submitting all of your entries and are ready to submit payment, go into each entry and click the “Submit Entry” button to add it to your cart.

Please do not click the “Submit Entry” button until you are finished editing all of your entries and are ready to checkout and pay. The payment cart clears itself out after 24 hours so if you submit your entry and do not complete the checkout process within the same 24 hours you will have to go back into each entry and hit the “Submit Entry” button again.



Contest fee: $30 per entry; $20 per student entry; $50 per Paul Hansell entry.

Payment Instructions:

  1. Log in to your florida.awardsplatform.com account
  2. Go to “My Entries” page
  3. Open each entry and click “Submit Entry”
  4. This will take you to the payment cart
  5. Click “Add more entries to cart” which will take you back to your “My Entries” page
  6. Repeat Steps 3-5 until you have submitted all of your entries
  7. Verify that the number of entries in your cart match the number of entries you are submitting
  8. Fill out required billing information
  9. Select to either pay by credit card or select the invoice option to pay by check
  10. Click the “Proceed to Payment” button to complete payment

If paying by check please include a copy of your invoice with your payment. Make checks payable to Florida Society of News Editors.

Send checks to:
FSNE Journalism Contest c/o Devon Dunkle
1025 Greenwood Blvd., Ste 191
Lake Mary, FL 32746



Awards will be presented during the 2018 Florida Media Conference being held August 9-10 at the Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek.

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